Remembering the party that helped her relax as a host.
The best lesson I learned about being a good host came from my late, dear friend Tim Lewis. I was a house guest over the holidays, when he and his wife Fran told me they were expecting 100 or so people for cocktails the next evening.
In those days, just the thought of hosting a party would throw me into total panic for weeks. Everything I had always meant to do — clean out drawers, wash windows, polish every glass and fork — suddenly had to be done before my guests arrived. I’d make endless lists, buy new music, candles and napkins, recover the sofa — you name it. By the time the party rolled around, I was an exhausted nervous wreck.
I kept waiting for things to heat up in the Lewis house but they never did.
The day of the party Tim rose early, bought loads of flowers, checked on the bar supplies and the platters of hors d’oeuvres he had ordered and put out trays of glasses — and then calmly suggested we all go out for lunch!
Just before the guests arrived, a coat rack was erected in the front hall and the candles lit. That was it.
“Unbelievable!” I said, as I looked around the room full of happy guests, including my relaxed hosts. “Your job is to give them a drink or two, a few nice bits to eat, an old friend to chat to and an interesting new person to meet. If you can do that, you're a great host,” Tim said.
Great advice, don't you think?
For more great entertaining tips, read Event Designer Marla Brown's Party Checklist.